Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Programs

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Section 1: Economically Disadvantaged Counties

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Legislation

Transportation Code, Section 222.053 requires the Texas Transportation Commission, when evaluating a proposal for a highway improvement project in a local government that consists of all or a portion of an economically disadvantaged county, to adjust the minimum local matching funds requirement after evaluating the local government’s effort and ability to meet the requirement.

Texas Administrative Code rules implementing the legislation became effective January 1, 1998. Wording of 43 TAC §15.50-15.56 describes federal, state, and local responsibilities for cost participation in highway improvement projects. The rules prescribe criteria the commission will consider in evaluating a request for an adjustment. Information in 43 TAC §15.55 prescribes cost participation ratios for local governments in those projects.

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County Selection Procedures

The legislation defines an economically disadvantaged county as a county that has, in comparison to other counties in the state:

  • below average per capita taxable property value
  • below average per capita income
  • above average unemployment

Economically disadvantaged counties are identified by TxDOT for each fiscal year based on data obtained from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. After the determinations are made, TPP notifies each of TxDOT’s local district offices that contain all or a portion of an economically disadvantaged county.

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Application Procedures

To be eligible, an on-system project must be both commission-authorized and unlet. An off-system project is eligible if it is unlet and commission-authorized or approved within a district bank balance program.

The Texas Transportation Commission considers applications once a quarter. In order to prepare the necessary documents, applications must be received by TxDOT’s Transportation Planning and Programming Division approximately one month prior to the Commission meeting.

More information is in the handbook “Relief from Local Match Requirements in Economically Disadvantaged Counties – Applicant Handbook.” (To see a PDF file of it, click pln_apd.)

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